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Antwerp Tower


Since last summer the A-TOWER is the talk of the town. All kind of trendy expensive parties and shitty popups happen here. But did you know the building has many dirty secrets? Shitty Guide went deep throat for you in a dirty parking lot. Now for you exclusively our dear reader, we have the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. 

The Antwerp Tower is by any sort of standard one of the most ugly buildings in Europe. If you arrive in the central station and exit on the Keyserlei you can’t miss it - look up and you’ll see it right in front of you - it’s right there in all it’s ugly phallic glory. Let’s start with the beginning: ‘Grand Hotel Weber’ used to be here - a beautiful and impressive Belle Epoque building: think a combination of the Antwerp central station and Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel - a nice match with the Opera building right next door. At the end of the 1960’s and despite protests by the neighborhood residents, students and art critics they decided to demolish the building. Why? Because fuck architecture, fuck the people and fuck you too. Politicians and real-estate moguls made a deal and replaced Grand Hotel Weber with the horrendous structure you’re seeing right now.

The office building didn’t live up to its expectations - it was never fully booked and very soon it became occupied with “honest business men” with some rather very shady business practices. No seriously, in the 80s and 90s notorious and dangerous mobsters like the Israeli Asher Doron and the Russian/Polish Riccardo Fanchini (“the richest man van ‘t stad”) were running their drug-, diamond- and smuggling operations from here. High above the fray, these man were overlooking the city and running their crime empires from here. The city’s politicians as ever turned a blind eye, too much in depth to these criminals with their deep pockets.



Asher Doron, Bert Van Lommel & Riccardo Fanchini

However, a different kind of businessman is running the show now, a bit more fashionable perhaps but no less notorious or famous: Bert V.L. aka The Hardest Working Gay in The Party Business. This man has basically become the Antwerp party scene godfather. His empire consists of bars like Bar Leon, festivals like Borgerwood and party concepts like Spek and Noord feestjes - and much more. People come from far to kiss his ring and pay their respect.

For the Antwerp tower he introduced two new nightlife concepts that immediately became wildly popular: Bar Gloed and Klub Goud. Bar Gloed is on the fourth floor - come here for the nice furniture, large terrace and expensive cocktails. Once you’re wasted enough you can take the elevator up to the 21st floor (!) for some prime clubbing with breathtaking views of our city. The main advantage is that from up here, you can’t actually see this ugly-ass tower. Somewhere in the tower there’s also a hair-salon, a psychotherapist and a restaurant. And in the basement there is (of course) a darkroom.

Naturally, now that the tower has actually become popular and of any practical use, the city has decided that the fun’s over. Soon they will strip the whole thing down, promising us a less-ugly tower - and making expensive-ass condo lofts and a shopping mall. Who benefits? Let me tell you my friend, it’s definitely not you.  

How the new tower is supposed to look like

Van Ertbornstraat 10
Antwerpen Antwerpen

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